Would you mind introducing yourself? My name is Chris MacMurray. I am originally from Portland, Oregon, but I now reside in Spokane, Washington where I moved to for school. I am currently attending Gonzaga University where I am in the process of working towards a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Photography is just one of my many hobbies through which I engage in self-care.
Chris’s Instagram - @chrismacmurray
When did you first fall in love with taking photos? - This is an interesting question to reflect on. My dad (John MacMurray) is a professional landscape photographer, so I have been exposed to the art of photography for my entire life, but it wasn’t until I was 20 years old when I actually developed an interest and passion for photography myself. It was during a day trip that I took with my best friend to Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City, Oregon that I first enjoyed the adventure and creativity related to taking photos.
Do you have a favourite photography related memory, whether it be in front or behind the camera? In January of 2016, I took a week-long road trip with three good friends down to the Southwest. We visited Moab, Arches National Park, Canyonlands, Monument Valley, Antelope Canyon, and Zion National Park. A month prior to this I had just acquired my first digital camera and this trip was my first opportunity to really take the time to learn how to use it. It was also the first road trip I had ever taken with close friends, and it was an incredible time. The photographs I have from this trip represent some of my most fond memories to date.
What inspires your photography? My dad inevitably inspired my style and enjoyment of photography. During my first couple of years practicing photography, I primarily shot nature and landscape photographs, because that is what I predominantly had a creative eye for. Eventually, I began trying to develop an eye for portraiture and other styles of photography, which I would say was heavily influenced and inspired by my good friend, Cory Crawford. Watching Cory continuously challenge himself to create new things and expand his aesthetic motivated me to become more eclectic with my own photography.
Camera & Editing Process? I began shooting on my iPhone 5s with a Moment Lens. That honestly was a simple and great way to develop my eye as a photographer without the complications of learning how to use a camera. My first camera was a Nikon D3200, but I recently upgraded to a Nikon D750 about a year ago and I freaking love it. My editing process is typically very quick and minimal. My primary goal when editing is to ensure that the photo accurately resembles what I saw when I initially took it. I use Adobe Lightroom pretty heavily throughout my editing process, but I still to this day cannot navigate Photoshop on my own and have little desire to learn how to do so.
Are there any tips you would like to give to anyone out there who would love to create similar style photos to yours? Get out of your comfort zone and don’t be afraid of shooting something different. Embrace your weird ideas for photographs. Being creative with your photography means being vulnerable and taking risks that most people aren’t willing to take. Create whatever will satisfy you the most at the end of the day.
What would be your number one dream destination for a photography adventure? Iceland has always been at the top of my bucket list, as have the mountains in Patagonia. But currently I would absolutely love to spend a couple of weeks shooting in France. I visited Paris a year prior to developing my interest in photography, and I would love to go back and wander that city again with an eye for photography. After wandering Paris, I would want to spend a week backpacking and photographing in the French Alps. I think France would satisfy multiple facets of my artistic taste.
Which time of year is your favourite for taking photographs? Depends on what kind of photos I am trying to capture. If I am doing nature and landscape, I prefer shooting in late summer and early autumn (August-early October) by far. The light and colours that you get that time of year in the mountains are surreal.
Chris’s Instagram - @chrismacmurray